According to the 2020 Property Academy Home Moving Trends Survey three quarters (75%) of buyers said a floor plan was very important information when searching for a property, quality of photographs (55%), description (52%) and number of photographs (50%) were also very important in a property search.
At Nicol & Co we like to think we are innovative and in this area we are certainly ahead of the game. We have been using the high quality 3D Matterport virtual tours for over three years and were the first Estate Agents in the UK to introduce GAVL Livestreaming to the options available to our clients. This interactive option hosted by one of our team allows buyers to view virtually before committing to a physical viewing when a property ticks all the boxes.
The evidence gathered during 2020 highlights the benefits of this excellent tool significantly reducing the number of physical viewings necessary to conclude a sale.
If you want to experience a Livestream viewing, follow the link on our website at
LOCAL MARKET ROUNDUP
Reflecting the impact of COVID-19 over the last twelve months, there have been 3447 sales in Worcestershire, this is 32% less than the previous year. In Malvern, a 25% reduction in the volume of transactions resulted in 512 sales. 469 sales in Droitwich Spa represents a year on year reduction in activity of 28%.
Average house prices in Droitwich sit at £265k with Malvern at £243.5K. In Worcester, where 41.4% of the sales took place, the average sales price is 8.7% lower at £222K.
The Lettings picture has changed over the last twelve months with a 17% increase in the Worcester average to £708. Malvern is similar at £704 now 7.25% below the overall Worcestershire average of £759, which has risen by 17%; Droitwich Spa remains highest at £734.
Source: Dataloft Market Rental Analysis (rental data is based on achieved rents for approximately 10-15% market share, depending on location).
An estimated 1,041,610 residential sales completed in 2020. In the spring the housing market paused for several weeks and despite this, sales were only down -11% on 2019.
129,400 homes changed hands in December 2020, 32% higher than December 2019 and a monthly increase of 13%.
According to Rightmove, there were 10% more sales agreed in 2020 than in 2019. Zoopla the other main portal reported a 9% annual increase in sales agreed.
Transactions will continue to remain higher than normal as sales agreed in 2020 continue to exchange over the next couple of months. Source: Dataloft, HMRC, seasonally adjusted transaction figures.
613,000 properties sold subject to contract are still awaiting legal completion and Rightmove now estimate 100,000 will miss the stamp duty holiday deadline.
The economy was -8.5% (ONS) smaller in November than it had been pre-lockdown. November saw a -2.6% decline following the closure of many businesses during lockdown two. November’s decline came after six consecutive months of growth.
UK consumer spending fell sharply in early January as coronavirus restrictions were tightened, registering a bigger fall than lockdown two. The GfK consumer spending index also dropped two points in January.
With the vaccine rollout under way and a Brexit deal agreed, there is some optimism in the air, despite the current lockdown. The Office for Budget Responsibility forecast the economy will grow by 5.5% over 2021 and 6.6% in 2022, returning to pre-pandemic levels by quarter 4 in 2022.
According to ONS average rental values across the UK rose by 1.4% in the year to December. The South West had the largest increase (2.6%). Scotland and London had the smallest increase (0.9%).
Rental growth expectations for the next three months strengthened slightly, as agents across virtually all parts of the UK envisage rents rising over the near term.
Following the latest lockdown measures, the evictions ban in England, put in place by the government to support tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic, has been extended for a further six weeks. Evictions will not be enforced by bailiffs until 21st February at the earliest. A mediation process will also be piloted in February. Six-month notice periods remain in place until at least 31 March 2021.
COVID SECURE VIEWINGS
Under the latest lockdown restrictions you are still permitted to move house. Nicol & Co has operated safely and effectively throughout the previous lockdown periods and will continue to do so carefully following the latest government guidance. We have Covid Secure procedures and policies in place to ensure we operate safely reducing social contact and the risk of spreading the virus.
If you have any questions, please contact us.
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